Seven big questions about the new Windows Phone 7 Series

by admin on 18 febbraio 2010


I watched this week’s announcement of the new Windows Phone 7 Series over the web. It was in Barcelona, and I was stuck here at home digging out from under a mountain of work that piled up after a pleasant vacation. Still, even over the Internet, it was an impressive demo, and the post-announce buzz was uniformly positive. (ZDNet’s coverage includes excellent posts from my compadres Mary Jo Foley, Matthew Miller, and Joel Evans, analysis by Larry Dignan, and a slick image gallery.) After looking at the announcement and thinking over its ramifications, I’ve come up with seven big questions that stand out in my mind.

Is this a complete reset of the Windows Mobile line? And can Microsoft pull it off?

This is a new operating system, a new user interface, and a new set of requirements on hardware makers. What’s left? All in all, this is indeed a complete reset and a pretty spectacular admission that the old Windows Mobile line was years past its sell-by date.

It does invite shuddering comparisons to the XP-to-Vista transition, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, this isn’t as big a leap as it appears. The hardware, the OS, and the new UI have already had a pretty thorough shakedown in the evolution of the Zune hardware, which culminated in the ZuneHD, which is impressive technically even if it hasn’t been a hit sales-wise. For Zune-watchers who wondered why Microsoft was persisting in its seemingly quixotic competition with the iPod juggernaut, you now have your answer: The ZuneHD wasn’t a mere media player, it was a stealth, hidden-in-plain-sight workout of a new hardware platform. Based on the ZuneHD experience, we already know what the UI and hardware can do at a minimum, and there are some pretty impressive new technologies in the Windows Phone 7.

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